Feeling stuck

I remember so well the feeling of being stuck at work. Having the trappings of status as a line manager in a big organisation but feeling powerless. Being unable to change things. Knowing that the system doesn't work but feeling that you have no power to improve it. Having to face people who also know that it doesn't work and who hold you responsible. I see the feeling of frustration in the eyes of so many people I deal with in all sorts of organisations. Some have given up, and some are still fighting, but most have to just go along with things the way they are.

But do they? Are we really so powerless? I used to get very frustrated at many of the changes John Birt made during his time as Director General at the BBC. Like most people I went into victim mode and complained to anyone who would listen about how wrong things were. But I did little to offer alternatives. I didn't commit to trying to change things. Then I remember one day realising that the only reason that the BBC had ended up the way John Birt thought it should was because he articulated it. He laid out what he wanted and persuaded enough people that it was the right thing to do. He had to start somewhere. He had to express an idea and keep expressing it until it came into being. There was nothing stopping me doing the same thing ...